Tagged: immigration

Trying To Help Somalis At Open Gym

So I took A- (12 year old step-son, immigrated to America at 8–not my 2 year old daughter of the same initial letter) to the community center earlier today so he could horse around playing basketball.

Being the overbearing, meaning perfect, step-dad that I am, I initially wanted to work on his individual skills—like last Saturday—but he clearly indicated that he just wanted to be a kid today. Whatever.

While there, I witnessed the typical community center basketball court open gym scene. One of the two courts had a 5-on-5 pickup game going. The other two hoops had free shooting. Oh, and big dreams could be seen every time a kid made a basket.

Next, two Somali kids barged in with a decently loud presence. They headed to the wall where some gymnastic pads were hanging and it soon became clear that some sort of mischief is afoot. Behind the mats, emergency exit doors. Two Somalis soon grew to four. Isn’t that always the case, Minnesota?

(Switching to present tense, for effect.)

I yell out, “Hey. Why don’t you just pay?” (It’s $3.)

“What?”

“Why don’t you just pay?”

I live for these moments. Everyone has to decide what’s appropriate. Escalate? De-escalate? Either choice requires a decision that the entire world witnesses.

The kid says, playing it cool, “We don’t have the money.”

I shake my head. They walk away knowing I’m watching them. For a second I feel unresolved. I’m not interested to get them in trouble. I’m interested to get them to improve. At this moment, I’ve lost. But I won’t give up hope. What can I do? What options do I still have to achieve my goal?

I walk over to the bench where the future inmates are getting their shoes on etc. I say, “Hey, where are the two guys? I’ll pay for them.”

“Huh?”

I take out some cash like a big shot.

“It’s only six bucks. I’ll pay. Let’s go up to the front.”

Only one of the criminals follows me. That’s enough for my purposes, I figure. The entire mosque will know who I am soon enough. These illiterate people have a knack for oral histories, I hear.

He patiently waits as I explain the situation to the young ladies at the desk.

He even said, “Thank you.”

*****

What do you think, dear citizen? Did I waste my hard-earned money? Did I buy a jihad? Or was this the best path imaginable? Is Jesus knocking at their hearts? Maybe something in between?

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No, I Won’t Say “White Nationalist”

In an Atlas Shruggedian sense, I feel like a pernicious line is being drawn in the sand among us folks wearing the white dermy. Whereas the so-called “colored” people of the world can say ‘white nationalist’ with impunity and likely strengthen established bonds, some new evil is slowly surfacing which claims that, as a white man, if I do not label the shooters ‘white nationalists’, then I, myself, am going to be thought of as a ‘white nationalist.’

Well, I won’t do it. I won’t say it. And here’s why.

First, I’m white. This is not wrong.

Second, I was (and in some technical sense somewhere, still am) an officer in the United States Air Force. That means I believe(d) in fighting for the United States of America–even if it meant to my death.

Don’t miss this next point: The United States of America is a *shh* nation. Eek! And this is not wrong, either.

So, no, I won’t be saying that the shooters are ‘white nationalists.’

However, I do want to share my reaction to these attacks.

First, given the manifesto of the El Paso shooter, we all need to renew our commitment to individual integrity. He wrote out–very plainly–why he did it. If we come in, after the fact, and all-Fruedian-like analyze the real reason he did it, we’re lying to ourselves.

Second, it is a lie to suggest that he merely thought there was an invasion or a war. No, this man crossed through the ether and manifested war. If we believe otherwise, we’re fooling ourselves. (Admitting we’re in a war does not mean we’ve lost. Slow down.)

Lastly, and again, we need to stop lying to each other. From the professors down to the pundits. From the top politicians to the teachers. We need to stop lying.

Instead, here’s the truth we need to affirm: America can do no wrong. America has never done wrong. America has no sins. America has no secret sins. America has no need to repent. America has never failed. America cannot fail. America must not fail.

America is not you. America is not me.

Current data suggests that America is the world’s third largest country on the planet as measured by both land and population. This data is wrong. America is bigger.

The shooters (from the first to today) are at war with America. Are you?